Bantul, Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - The ASEAN Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (ARDEX) that will be held at the Sultan Agung Stadium on August 1-4, 2023, will test the government's preparedness against disaster events.

"ARDEX 2023 is part of the tests to the government's response to disaster events, especially in emergency management," District Head of Bantul, Abdul Halim Muslih, remarked while leading the ARDEX 2023 preparation routine at the Sultan Agung Stadium here on Monday.

ARDEX is a biennial disaster mitigation simulation exercise attended by representatives of ASEAN countries, with this year's theme of "Facing the Earthquake Threat of Opak Fault in Yogyakarta and its surroundings."

The Sultan Agung Stadium in Bantul District will be the location of the simulation, so various preparations have been made, such as post tents and equipment related to disaster preparedness.

"ARDEX also tests how effective is coordination and collaboration between stakeholders when a disaster occurs, such as between central and local governments," he affirmed.

Regions in Yogyakarta Province, specifically Bantul, have a high disaster risk, he pointed out.

Bantul District alone has nine of the 13 potential disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, tsunamis, landslides, floods, and coastal abrasion.

Hence, Muslih said, Bantul has been empowering its two valuable assets owned by the community, namely volunteering and the culture of gotong royong, or mutual cooperation, in anticipating disaster events.

He noted that when the earthquake shook the district 17 years ago, Bantul quickly recovered due to mutual cooperation and strong empathy for one another.

In addition, Bantul is one of the regions, with the highest number of disaster risk reduction forum communities in Indonesia.

"Disasters, especially earthquakes, are unpredictable. Thus, disaster mitigation must continue to be improved to reduce disaster risk," he remarked.

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Translator: Hery S, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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